Dual-listed Press Corporation Limited (PCL) has reported a K22.1 billion after-tax profit in the year ending December 31 2014, representing a 27 percent increase, compared to the previous year’s K17.3 billion, bouyed by performance in the financial services sector.
Published financial results show that the conglomerate registered a 26 percent growth in financial services sector anchored by its listed subsidiary National Bank of Malawi.
PCL, listed on Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) and London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a global depository receipt, said the telecommunications segment, which comprises Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) and TNM also delivered “excellent results”, following good performance in the mobile phone business.
“Similarly, the fixed phone business registered a profit following successful restructuring of its balance,” said the statement signed by PCL group chief executive officer Matthews Chikaonda, board chairperson Clement Chilingulo and financial controller Elizabeth Mafeni.
The Bottling and Brewing Group (Carlsberg Malawi Limited) business delivered a 43 percent growth while the tobacco processing business registered a 24 percent growth.
“Earnings from ethanol manufacturing business declined due to increases in the prices of feedstock and lower yields due to lower sugar content in the feedstock. Plans to invest in feedstock independence are at an advanced stage,” reads the statement.
The company has two ethanol plants at Presscane in Chikwawa and Ethanol Company (EthCo) in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
Similarly, the group’s consumer goods services segment suffered a loss following the stock loss that was incurred during the year.
Going forward, PCL, one of the blue chips on MSE, said the operating environment continues to be sluggish with the current uncertainty around resumption of budgetary support by donors, despite successful conclusion of fifth and sixth reviews of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF), which resulted in the release of $80.1 million.
“The group is well positioned for growth and building on our past resilience, we are confident of continued good performance in 2015. The focus will be to make the ethanol companies feedstock secure and to expedite the search for a strategic partner for fish investment and continue exploring the opportunity to invest in energy generation,” reads the statement.
PCL directors have proposed a final dividend of K1 billion, an equivalent of K9 per share, up from last year’s K420.7 million, about K3.05 per share.
This brings the total dividend for the year to K1.5 billion, about K12.50 per share.